I have been slowly working my way through quite a few books over the last few months so today I am linking up with Quick Lit over on Modern Mrs Darcy to share with you some short and sweet reviews of the books I’ve been reading lately. Here are the notable.
One of my biggest values as both a parent and a home educator is protecting childhood, hence my interest in this book. In a world where toddlers have iPads, TV is an acceptable baby sitter, school hours continue to increase, organised sports dictate a child’s schedule, young girls are dressed like grown women and teenagers are constantly plugged into their smart phones, it’s not a surprise that childhood is drastically changing and quickly eroding. It’s all too much, too fast, too soon. Although first written over 25 years ago this book is even more relevant and important today. The message at the heart of this sometimes wordy book is that freedom and play in childhood is crucial for a child’s healthy development. Last updated in 2001 to include the effects of the internet and laptop devices on children, it already needs to be updated to include the effects of smart phones and social media, but the message remains the same – it’s still too much, too fast, too soon. Boundaries are needed and as parents, educators and childcare providers we need to make protecting and respecting childhood a priority because “in the end, a playful childhood is the most basic right of children.” Lets not deny them it.
In a Christian marriage praying with and for your spouse is perhaps one of the most intimate things you can do. I don’t know about you, but as a Christian wife my prayers for my husband (when I remember to do them and remember to include him!) can quickly degenerate into “be with him today, keep him safe, etc, etc.” Better than nothing I guess, but grossly hindering the power of prayer in our marriage. For wives who want to pray more intentionally for their husbands and perhaps see breakthroughs in their relationship with their spouse, this book acts as a guide enabling you to pray more regularly and more specifically for your spouse. Each chapter focuses on a different area of your husband’s life, enabling you to cover his whole life in prayer. From his health, to his work, his fears and temptations, his attitude and choices, hopes and future. It’s a broad list, but delivered in a very accessible way, with short chapters highlighting the authors own experiences and each ending with scripture verses and a prayer to guide you. Once you’ve read through the book you can simply return to a chapter that seems fitting at a specific time of life. I plan to write a list of the prayer prompts onto a bookmark to keep in my Bible as a reminder to pray for my husband and a tool for being more specific.
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
The Danes continually rank the charts as some of the happiest people in the world and Meik Wiking, the author and CEO for the Happiness Research Institute based in Copenhagen believe this is down to one simple thing: hygge. Books on “Hooga” and “the Danish way to live well” have been trending for some time now so when I saw this book on display at my local library I decided to grab it and see what this hygge thing is all about. Hygge does not translate easily into English, but the words cosiness, ambiance, intimacy and togetherness often get thrown around. As Wiking explains, “In many ways, hygge might be the Danish cousin to slow and simple living” a topic I have been reading around for many years now. I personally didn’t find the concept of hygge to be particularly revelatory for my own life as it seems to be a lifestyle I have already been in pursuit of without the hygge label. However, it is still a very appealing concept. For those who want to add more hygge to their lives this book gives lots of practical suggestions on hygge-like activities you can try, things such as bringing out the board games, playing boules, lighting the fire or setting up a mini library. What I particularly liked about this book was one of Wiking’s final chapters on savouring and gratitude. If I was to sum up hygge in just one sentence then I would say that hygge is all about savouring the moment and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, because living in and appreciating the moment are conducive to gratitude, which in turn is conducive to happiness, which is why those Danes are just so darn happy!
I first read this book in 2015 and it resonated so deeply with me that I vowed to work through each core essential. Admittedly it’s taken me a little time to get there so I’ve re-read the book so as to come up with a plan of action. I still stand by my original review from July 2015 it’s definitely a book I want to keep coming back to as it’s full of practical and life giving advice. A must read for all mothers of little ones.